Keeping up with all the animals at Trex Andalucia can be a time-consuming task, which sometimes means, our dreams and projects for the sanctuary get put on hold. Especially when unanticipated costs arise, such as vet bills, new rescues, and other surprising expenses.
This is one of the reasons for creating our website, to not only help share our achievements but also raise awareness of the different projects and works we have planned for the future. And with a little help from the lovely people out there, who wish to donate, we can reach our goals just like we have done with our Eco Allotment.
If you have read a little about us, you’ll know that many years ago, we purchased a large rustic plot of land in Turre, Almeria. When we bought this land, there was nothing on it at all – no trees, no buildings, and no water. Over the past 17 years, we have been working on converting this barren space of agricultural landscape into an animal sanctuary and our home.
One of the things we have always wanted to have here at Trex was an allotment. A space where we can grow fruit and vegetables to provide the animals with sustainable food and treats and also a little area for us to grow our own produce. In normal times (pre-pandemic) we are so busy, that growing our own organic food, had been put aside, until now.
As you can see from the pictures above, apart from the beautiful old olive trees, the land we chose to work with was exactly how Trex Andalucia began, covered in weeds. Over the years we have experimented to see what we are able to grow in our area.
The countryside where we are is surrounded by olive groves and other vegetables so we knew that we shouldn’t have any issues in growing. Unfortunately, we do know that the agricultural water that we use in the area is very salty, which has caused some issues.
With nowhere to go, horse-riding and Sunday Club on hold, and lockdown just being lifted, we found the perfect time to start work on our Eco Allotment. It’s not been an easy task, lots of hard work has been put in by Ryan & Kirsty and of course some of our volunteers, Anne, Paul & Lisa.
One of our reasons for creating an eco allotment is to help provide homegrown produce for the animals here at Trex. We also thought it would make a great idea for other people to have an area to come and join in on the fun, pick our seasonal produce and even share a feed basket experience with the local residents.
After a lot of landscaping, clearing weeds, and re-designing the area Kirsty and Ryan headed to the building merchants to find some blocks for our raised planters. Having had some issues with ants in the past, we thought this would be the best option for growing our vegetables.
At a higher price tag than what we had budgeted for, Kirsty and Ryan donated the blocks to Trex Andalucia! Two large rectangular planters later, we had enough blocks to create a smaller square planter dedicated to growing herbs.
After numerous visits to the garden center, we stocked up on different seeds and soil. Besides herbs and vegetables, we also purchased a range of different trees and planted them around the allotment.
The trees we chose were; Grapes, Mango, Orange, Lime, Lemon, Walnut, Pomegranate, Carob, Apple, Plum & Banana.
After planting just after lockdown, we were able to feed lettuces to the chickens, ducks, and peacocks. All produce that we would normally buy from our local supermarkets and shops. It’s a great feeling of achievement to be able to grow your own stuff!
The only problem we found was that without adequate fencing, a lot of our produce was getting eaten by our own chickens! After putting up enough fencing to keep them out, we were back to growing lettuces for the winter.
Thanks to a friend who donated a beautiful wooden table and chairs, we created a cute seating area that will reap the benefits and views of the allotment for years to come. We have now after digging away, pulling weeds, created an abundance of veggies, and planted many young trees. If you ever want a free workout, or want to enjoy the outdoors in Spain you are welcome to get green fingers and volunteer with us.
Back in the young Sunday club days, we enjoyed teaching the children all about the aspects of growing, they loved it! Something that nowadays is just taken for granted in the younger generation. The best thing about our allotment is there’s not one food item, that enters our dustbins here at Trex. There is always an animal that will enjoy a nice treat.
For complete transparency, we wanted to share the costs that it has taken to achieve our completed project. Although we had a goal amount of just 100 euros for this project, many materials were donated to us, and others used from what we already had lying around the yard. Including high-grade horse manure!
We were also very privileged to have been gifted hardworking volunteers to help us get the work done. Rather than spending our budget on seeds, we grow a lot of our produce from offcuts of vegetables and using the seeds found within them.
Blocks for Planters: €90.00 (Donated by Kirsty & Ryan)
Table & Chairs: €0.00 (Donated by Chris Stoker)
Total Cost: €609.99
Although this was a large investment of money for the sanctuary, we will save more money in the future from buying fruit and vegetables in our local supermarkets. We love the idea that we will also save the world from a little more plastic waste and help give back to our environment.
To stay up to date and to help our future projects relating to our rescue animals and future residents please like and follow our Facebook Page.
Any donations made towards our projects will be split between building materials, maintenance, and other expenses dedicated to the job at hand. Keep an eye on our future blog posts as once a project has been completed we love to share progress and results so that you can see where your money goes.